In case you hadn’t realised, there are two Munich’s. On the one hand there’s the beer-sloshing heartland of traditional Bavaria, where dirndls (traditional dress, to you and me) and sausages fill the postcards and fairy tale spires ornament the skyline. On the  other there’s Munich the economic powerhouse, a thrusting city full of gleaming towers and glittering car showrooms.

Visit Munich OktoberfestThe locals call this dual identity “laptops and lederhosen”, and witnessing how the city’s different personalities coexist can be richly enjoyable for visitors. Its history delights at times and disturbs at others – the wealthy Wittelsbach dynasty spared little architectural expense when shaping their capital, while on a more inglorious level the city was the birthplace of the Nazi movement – but Munich itself is never less than fascinating.

Crucially, you don’t need to visit during Munich Oktoberfest or the Christmas Market to get a sense of being somewhere special. So, without further ado, let’s discover a 48-hour sample itinerary to enable visitors to get the best of this city.

Day One

11:00 Begin the day with a view from on high. Climb to the top of the tower of Munich’s oldest church, the 14th-century St Peter’s, from where the city’s grandest buildings and, on a clear day, its outlying mountains spread out in a picturesque formation. Take a look at the gothic drama of the Neus Rathaus (New Town Hall), a building that took more than forty years to construct. On descending, take a wander around the adjacent Viktualienmarkt, an open-air food market complete with bratwurst stalls, decadent cheeses and a seemingly limitless supply of peckish locals.

14:00 After lunch, head to the eye-opening Munchner Stadtmuseum to learn something of the city’s multi-layered history. The museum’s various buildings take you through the legacy of the medieval age and the forming of Napoleon’s Kingdom of Bavaria to the effects of Hitler’s Third Reich and the trials of the Cold War (Munich was the “secret capital” of West Germany when the Berlin Wall was in place). Take some time to visit two notable attractions: the strikingly designed Hauptsynagogue, a poignant replacement for the synagogue destroyed here in 1938; and the unmistakable brick-encased bulk of Frauenkirche, the 500-year old church whose twin-towers are something of an unofficial city emblem.

16:00 Bavaria’s famous Wittelsbach dynasty held sway over the region from Munich for well over seven hundred years. The sprawling, magnificent Rezidenz in the city centre acted as their royal palace for much of that time, and has been well preserved despite sustaining damage during World War Two. Highlights include a beautifully ornate theatre, a near-priceless art collection and a decidedly bling Palace Treasury.

20:00 Munich remains synonymous with its bierkeller culture. The Hofbrauhaus might be the most famous of the beer halls, but there’s just as much in the way of atmosphere (and arguably a nicer tipple) offered by the Augustiner Brewery’s outlets. Tuck into a hearty Bavarian meal at the Augustiner am Dom restaurant – roasted pig’s trotter, anyone? – before walking a short distance up Neuhauser Street to the cavernous Augustiner Grossgaststatten, where litre-tankards, pigtailed waitresses and wood panelling are the order of the day.

Visit MunichDay Two

11:00 BMW is one of the key brands behind Munich’s corporate success story, and you can see for yourself precisely how much the car-maker has embraced technology with a visit to the remarkable BMW Welt.

Part-museum, part-showroom, the uber-modern complex displays vehicles through the ages, and even gives the chance to take a tour, in English, of the construction plant (Mondays to Fridays only).

On the doorstep of BMW Welt, meanwhile, join a guided walk of the Olympiapark, venue for the 1972 Summer Olympics. As well as the legendary exploits of competitors such as Mark Spitz and Olga Korbut, the Games are remembered for the tragic deaths of eleven Israeli athletes – the Olympic Village apartment where they were held hostage still stands nearby.

14:00 Back towards town, visit the excellent Pinakothek der Moderne, a vast contemporary art gallery as notable for its sweeping, elevated design as for its eyebrow-raising collection, which includes works by Kandinsky, Picasso and Any Warhol. If you are feeling particularly culture-hungry, located just a stroll away are Munich’s two other major galleries – the Alte Pinakothek, home of some great Old Masters, and the Neue Pinakothek, good for 19th-century European art.

16:00 Close by, the Englischer Garten is one of the largest urban parks on the continent and offers a pleasant diversion from the city proper – keep a look out for the landmark Chinese Tower, modelled on a pagoda in Kew Gardens (West London, in the UK). After a walk, galvanise yourself with coffee and cake at the Café Luitpold near Odeonsplatz, a hangout for artists and writers since 1988.

19:00 Music and Munich go hand in hand, with orchestras, opera houses and ballets to woo visitors year-round. The colonnaded National Theatre is home to both the state opera and the state ballet, making it a great option for evening events.

City breaks to MunichHow To Get There…..

From London Heathrow there are numerous daily services from both British Airways and Lufthansa, whilst EastyJet and Lufthansa offer services from other UK departure points. BMI Regional has launched a service from Bristol to Munich, flying six times a week. The German city can be reached from all over the world, and we are only too pleased to offer a quotation for your closest departure airport, regardless of where you live in the world.

If you prefer to travel by train, then Deutsche Bahn will get you to Munich, with connections from all over Europe (the UK will have to wait until 2016 at the earliest before the rail operator commences its own services from parts of Germany to London St Pancras – watch this space for future announcements).

Where To Stay…….

Luxury: Five-star amenities and a prime location near Maximilianstrasse make the Mandarin Oriental a reliable high-end option, while Rocco Forte’s Charles Hotel – complete with spa – is another that’s popular with guests. The privately-owned Hotel Torbrau, which first opened its door as long ago as 1450, is a great place to stay, with excellent service to match.

Mid-Range: The three-star Kings Hotel Centre, offers ninety rooms close to the central railway station. Elsewhere, Hotel Lux is a classy option for those looking for sharp design and quirky décor without breaking the bank.

Budget: The no-frills Hotel Monaco has affordable rooms in the city centre, whilst the smart new Hotel Angelo Munich Westpark, which opened in January 2013, has prices reflecting its location away from the heart of town.

The Charles Hotel MunichTours and Excursions…….

A range of tours and excursions are available through World of Transport Travel. These include a hop-on-hop-off bus tour (a great way to get your bearings on your first full day in the city), Dachau Memorial Tour, and for football lovers a trip to the FC Beyern Soccer Stadium.  Group rates can also be offered, so please ask for details.

The above hotels are something a little different from the “chain” hotels, that Munich has on offer. Whilst these most definitely serve their purpose, and we will gladly offer them to you, we decided to offer something that was a little more in keeping with the locale. We can offer a wide range of accommodation for those wanting choice.

World of Transport Travel is pleased to offer packages either by air or rail to Munich, with accommodation included. If you only require accommodation, then we are only too pleased to help you. Any tours and excursions you may wish to do, can be arranged through us as well. Don’t forget, we can book your car parking at most UK airports, for the time you are away.

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